Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fork in the Road

The way is full of choices. The last day in Oklahoma I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of the snow. The wide four lane divided highway was stretching out of sight. While walking these past five months I would think what this day would look like. The road, the clouds, the wind, the snow. My minds-eye was spot on. It was time to go home...

Sheboygan until the snow flies.

I did what I set out to do and it was just as I had envisioned it when the snowflakes fell into view. It wasn't a blizzard but just enough see and feel. On the Southern edge of Muskogee Oklahoma is where I saw snow. Just over five months from Lake Michigan to Omaha by way of Fargo North Dakota then in Oklahoma from Pawhuska to Muskogee. When I had started this morning I carried a lighter backpack with only emergency essentials, my lower back was so sore I was having trouble moving so the smaller load relieved some pressure. When the snow began to fall I stood and watched it for awhile before turning back to get the van, it was less than a mile. The wind had quickly blown me that distance, when I turned around I had to work for every step. When I made my way back over to the Hilldale store there was a woman who had heard I was there and had excitedly jumped in her vehicle to find me. She had seen on a news report that I was going to stop when I saw snowflakes. She not only got the last picture of me walking in Oklahoma she also gave me a ride to the van at the next intersection. She said, as I was getting out," I don't know what you're going to do from here but you have helped a lot of people with what you have done." What a sweet exclamation. When I get my back adjusted and after the holidays I have eighteen states yet to step foot in before I set another goal.
I will post updates soon. Until then, keep walking.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Birds and the Moth

While I lay in the van looking out at the rain spatter the panes wondering how I would go on with my back in such pain a moth fluttered to the window, circled a few times and flew up and away so I could follow its progress until it disappeared into the grey clouds. Then a bird flock of hundreds passed flying high as the cloud layers blew by in several directions. I decided then that when I was able to walk again I would keep going. I'll not be outlasted by a tenacious moth. It has become colder but the weather front has passed, for now my muscles have loosened enough so I'll head South like the rest of the flocking birds heading for home.


Early Sunday Morning and my back is racked from the rain. On Friday I walked from the edge of Muskogee to a long term care hospital, they had invited me there for a meal and a shower. As I got there a light rain began. I was able to get the canvas World under cover before it got soaked. From there I defLated the ball and loaded it into the wqrldguy van. The rain fell off and on Friday night through until morning when the sun broke through for just awhile. The months of walking and the cold rain combined to make it difficult to stand and walk Nice (the dog). It was only after a day of resting in the van that my back now only hurts like it would if I had just walked twenty miles. I wrote the previous post to avoid dwelling on this nuisance but I, in all honesty,have to say my back pain is incapacitating. I have heard it will rain more this afternoon after the lite sprinkles clear off. Honestly, I hope it snows soon.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

True Grit

Five months, to the day from when I stepped away from Lake Michigan, Sheboygan. Across Wisconsin and the Mississippi to Iowa, up the big muddy to where it drains out of Lake Itaska, across the White Earth to Fargo, through the Dakota's to Nebraska, skipping Kansas (been there) and finally here with the Okies in Muskogee there they were. Not since I left my old Kentucky home far away had I found them, grits. Finally I am fer' 'nuff sa'outh. Praise all that is good, I ate me sum' grits today an' they wuz' Deeeliciously gritty tastin'! Don't git' me started' 'bout ma' grits...many a mile,many a mile...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Nothing to say

There's lots of things I could mention about yesterday, but I can't get the thumbs going. The little town of Porter, the men lined up at the long table in the store at the edge of town; the look on their faces when I took their picture for being one of the best examples of what I call "the liar's table" I've seen in months. I had come in and left before any of them showed up for their morning review; the early bird gets the worm. The walk past the school, the crossing guard's reaction when the World passed him by like he was warned it would was classic but I don't want to mention that either. As I made it to the far end of town and spent almost an hour progressing a few hundred yards while talking to more people than I can count including the sheriff who brought me patch from town and was attacked by Nice(the dog) who licked his face with his ferocious long tongue , many who had family or were themselves diabetic or in need of a bit of calisthenics ending with an ex- RN on her way to the diabetes specialist for a check-up who told me she was having troubles with her kidneys and yet didn't check her levels as she knew she should or walk to keep in shape like she knew she should but she did stop saying "Okay I have a minute for your story". Of this I have nothing to say. Or of the ol farmer I watched work his way over on the tractor, took a few minutes to get out the gate and down off the large piece of machinery and talk to me. He was bent over obviously from years of working the fields before I was born. I bent over so I could look him in the face while he clung to the hay-bail forks of the tractor. When I walked away I heard a loud call and turned to se him scuttling almost upright to get back and close the gate, the heard of cows were curiously ambling to follow me down the road as they usually do. I've got nothing in regard to the high dormant grass that brings my World to a halt when I need to roll off the road as cars passed until I got to the wide four-lane and it's pull-off lane. I might revel at the coincidence of the road maintenance crew with the open trailer who just happened to stop to pick up a couple road signs at the busy bridge over the Arkansas River as I walked up; they gave me a lift over to the safe side in the rush hour. But still I have nothing. That the guy at the Pilot was there to assure me the World would be safe when I got my ride before I had it tied to the pole and then turned around to meet the young women who were on their way back through Porter; one of the two sisters had spoken to me the night before so I didn't have to say much before we were on the road back. Thanks to E and T is what I'd say if I had the inclination to write, but I don't. Finally I might mention the couple who brought me a meal after I was settled and thank them too, but I can't find words to peck away on my Blackberry... I don't want to check my spelling or proper wording, I don't want to get out from the warm blanket, but I will because despite myself I do enjoy life,

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's the cold.

My bones are aching. Not all of them, just a few joints that have taken some abuse. Oh,that would be most of them. I made it to the edge of Porter and no more. My knee and foot would have no more for the day. Ten miles per day with the cold, short days is about as much as I can take. The shoulders are steep and the terrains are taking a toll . Ok I'm finished complaining...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nice Porter

What a life he has. Draped in warm clothes and scarf. Able to sniff and take in the countryside while I, his porter carry food and water, stop so people can rub his belly and bring snacks that he can eat along the way. A Nice life.

On our way to Porter, OK.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Off the Grid

Today I am walking on SR51, it runs at an angle toward Fort Smith, not on the strict s-n-e-w grid of most of the roads I have walked since September. WhooHoo!
No interesting fun little tales this morning. Yesterday the first person I talked to was diabetic, through the day of the few I spoke to many were diabetic, the last I spoke to was also diabetic. From juvenile onset to stress, poor diet and complications from surgeries. All different, undeserving...
Today I'm walking the cold World.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dreams, a Sardine Can, and Broken Arrow

Dreams make sense while I am in them but rarely float where reason reigns in the light of day. Peddling a box truck like a tricycle trying my best to catch up with the red delivery truck ahead of me didn't seem too hard. It was the guys on the bicycles with their pointy hats and skin tight clothes while crossing an arched bridge was what made it difficult. The men on the bikes wouldn't stop talking and were going so slow that I was bumping into them as I strained to keep enough momentum to keep the heavy box truck rolling up the upside of the bridge. As often happens because of all the falls, car accidents and years of destroying my spine as a carpenter I startled myself awake by hearing myself yell out in pain. I had been lying on my back, knees bent, feet flat and had been pedaling. The desire to catch up to the red truck was replaced with a hope I could turn on my side and straighten my legs without another anguished outburst. I'd bounced my lower back into knots, turning on my side helped very little. What was I thinking, I thought to myself, the red truck was too far ahead from the start. I drifted off again to dreamland only to finally wake up for good by attempting to get a cat out of the room I and Nice(the dog) were in by covering it with a towel and lifting it in both arms but not before it did it's business on the rug. What roused me from the dream was while I was lifting the cat I somehow got the tip of my finger in it's mouth. The cat didn't bite but the thought of it was enough to wake me up. The fingertip the cat had in it's mouth was the one I lost a few years ago, apparently I have all my digits while dreaming. Twice in one night was enough, I got my things together, twisted back and all. Before daylight I was walking.
When the wind is blowing I don't have the luxury of complaint about the aches and pains. I save it up for this blog... I kept a moderate pace, as long as I was walking,pushing, stopping for Nice(the dog) to inspect the cities fences and avoiding the puddles from yesterdays rain my mind kept away from the list of pains. Suddenly I was close to my destination for the day and I was honored to get a ride from a man I met days ago who happened to be in the Tulsa area. He had called earlier in the morning and caught up with me just a few steps from where I stopped for the afternoon. The thing about the ride was that the car was tiny and low to the ground which wasn't so bad until I got out and walked to the van. It was interesting though with Nice in the bucket seat with me while Grandma held back the two brendled pit bulls in the small back seat. As if I wasn't tensed up before I squeezed in. The man's timing was perfect though and the dogs didn't fight. I had enough time to apply some patches and paint to the World after we made our way back to Tulsa's neighbor city, Broken Arrow. I am working my way to Arkansas and the World must have it's attention or it will fall apart.
Sweet dreams Oklahoma!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Black Friday I pushed east on Eleventh Street, also known as Oklahoma Route 66. The "breeze" was coming from the south and slightly from the east, sometimes gusting over thirty miles per hour making my progress a labor. Nice (the dog) had to sniff and mark all the power poles, building corners, fire hydrants, clumps of grass, mail boxes, fence post, and curbs. When we walked by the Tulsa University Stadium just before the game against Texas the fans were gracious and walked around us on the sidewalk as I pushed against the "breeze" and waited for Nice (the endless bladder) to mark bushes, concrete planters, and trees. The sharp angle of the sidewalk had my right leg straining. Switching to the opposite side of the road was out because of the wind so I plodded on until the roadside opened wide later in the day.
Everyday I meet diabetics and people who have family members with diabetes. On thanksgiving I met a double amputee riding on a motorized chair. He had lost one leg after being hit by a car while on a motorcycle and the other from an infection while still in the hospital. He had lost both parents to diabetes and his brother was nearly blind from the disease. Though he couldn't walk he agreed exercise helps to control it. I received an e-mail from a man I met a few days ago, he let me know he had sent a donation to the ADA after meeting us on the road. I can inspire a world of people to walk, only breakthroughs in medicine can help whole families prone to diabetes with cures. Give to the organization of your choice. I'll keep talking and walking...
A tulsa K-9 patrolman stopped to give Nice some treats and ask some questions the television news hadn't covered. I asked him where I may find a safe parking area. He pointed to the Police station just ahead and went forward to ask if it would be permissible. Thanks to the Captain in charge I have had a shower, am parked at the edge of the Tulsa Police Department where It has rained most of the night and all morning. The "breeze" is forecast to blow at thirty five while getting colder during the day. If the roads dry I will "blow up" the World that I deflated for the night of rain and turn South toward the city of Broken Arrow. If conditions remain ugly I hope I can rest here for another evening.
Happy holiday shopping!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Remembering Thanksgiving

Half of my lifetime ago I enjoyed my mothers holiday meal for the last time. Her cooking is, of coarse, the standard I have searched for since she passed. Occasionally I will find one item at a Thanksgiving feast that compares with the tastes of my memories. One year our local newspaper featured her holiday production which had to be prepared two weeks earlier so it could be used by the readers for their holiday spread. I gained weight that season. I know now it was those delicious cakes, pies, cookies, candies, meats, turkey with all the rest that contributed to her demise and my large appetite. Now a salad with my ancient mom would be preferable to my fading memory of her.
A few years ago I went for a walk on Thanksgiving day. I was gone so long I was late to the gathering at my in-laws. I had never felt so good as I did that Thanksgiving. I was not stuffed and miserable. That was my most enjoyable Thanksgiving.

Tulsa on Turkey Day

From Sand Springs into downtown Tulsa that looked like a ghost town on the holiday the people were very nice. I was asked into the FOP lodge for a meal. After I filled up with good food and Nice (the dog) had a plate of chicken they gave me a tub to take with me. I was not out of the parking lot of the FOP before someone stopped with a covered dish stacked two high so returned to the lodge to eat again. Luckily I was not too full but I certainly was when I left the second time. I was grateful to be able to walk the feast off by the end of the day. After I settled in at days end another kind family brought an evening plate. I will walk that one away on Black Friday. Happy Holidays!
Walking, does a body good.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to Change the World in three easy Steps.

Take someone's hand, take a walk, be invigorated.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Frosty and Foggy

The fog is thick this morning with a light frost. After having a coffee and sandwich in the "wisdom section" in Billy B's along 99 I am waiting for the fire department to arrive, the chief called them and told them to gear up so they could walk with us. It will be interesting to see how deep the loyalty runs to the Chief. I'm sure most of them have a day job. I'll be there!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Keep on walking anyway...

I was awake at three in the morning. When the pavement dried enough for me to roll the canvas World and keep it from getting heavier by picking up sand and water I was tired already. I wanted to sleep but I forced myself out on the road. Once I got going it wasn't so bad and the first car to stop by the side of the road made the effort worthwhile. The person driving was diabetic and had numbness in her thigh. After hearing a hopeful tale of one who helped her circulation by walking the driver was convinced. I felt good for pushing on this morning when I was realy wanting to make excuses and sleep. I walked anyway. Here behind Billy B's store close to 99 and 412 I can get that nap I wanted knowing I may have done some good today.

Wet at Wally World

As I left Hominy I stopped and talked to the elementary school from across the road. The teachers had them line up along the fence. When I was finished the other half of the school came out and lined the fence. I tried to keep it short and simple, to the point. Walk with the ones you care for to prevent and control diabetes. I spent a lot of the day talking to people who stopped by the road headed to Cleveland. The nice folks who recommended this route to Tulsa didn't tell me of the narrow bridges over the Arkansas before Cleveland or the Cedar Creek crossing to finish the day at Walmart just as it began to rain. This morning I was informed the access roads on the highway I will be on soon will end and I will need to gt a ride over the expressway bridge back over the Arkansas river. That will take a couple days to get to the bridge but this morning I am waiting for some of the heavy rainwater to run off and soak in. I know I'll be muddy, the World will be wet all day an also weigh much more. I would like to sleep instead of walk today...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Flash Flood warning

One hundred percent chance of rain and storms tonight so I am heading for Cleveland. Cleveland Oklahoma. It's been cloudy since I left Wynona into Hominy. Thanks for the shower and the ride from the family of the first scout troop in the USA, troop 33, and the thanksgiving dinner from the church last night in Hominy. I better get going.
Get some exercise, take a friend!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Walk to Wynona

The wind finally died down enough for us to get to town just as the sun went down and we were given permission to stay by the post office in the church parking lot. I slept late as the wind out of Pawhuska gave me a challenge. I will walk to the next town today, wind willing.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

No Pansies Here

Pinned down by the wind here on my first day in Oklahoma I thought I should say that a breezy day reported by the local radio station. In Nebraska and kansas they'd designate this a Wind Advisory but not here, it's just breezy. Happy to be here nonetheless.
Today I'm the mule. Yippie ki yah!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pawnee City to Pawhuska

Out side of Pawnee City the sun was setting, the road was narrow and where there were guardrails there was no room should I have been caught in the dark like a raccoon destined for slaughter. Sure I'd be able to time it right and make it through alive but when the sheriff stopped and asked if I was alright I hinted strongly that it was in her power to insist I take a ride into town on the back of a pickup truck. She called her deputy and as Barney Fife used to say they nipped it in the bud. They arranged for me to stay behind the fire station there in Mayberry, I mean Pawnee City and in the morning made sure I had my van at the Kansas state line so when we walked to the border I could have it there. It was down one of the last gravel U.S. Highway roads in Nebraska. It led to another gravel road on the edge of nowhere surrounded by stubblefields and distant farm houses. I have walked in Kansas before so my plan has always been to skip over it like a video game when you have completed a task you are able to leap to the next stage or chapter. It was so peaceful at the quiet crossroad I sat down in the Kansas grass and we ate. Nice (the dog) had his food I always carry and I had trail mix. I sat there for over an hour before I walked back across the road into Nebraska to pull the plug on the World, drive Kansas City and stay with some dear friends for a rest before bouncing into Oklahoma. It looked to me that a town named Elgin was as directly south as any from where I touched into Kansas so I went there. Elgin was miles along twisting gravel but to my delight Elgin has some history. At one time it was the biggest cattle town in the world according to the old hunter and his son who had there campers set up for deer season on the lots they had purchased, not leased,for less than a song on Elgin's main street. The town in it's hay-day had nine railspurs and eleven houses of ill-repute. A few of the original buildings are still standing, the broadway and side streets still paved with brick are all that is left of it's glory days. Under one hundred live there now and the hunters told me the reason they hunt from there is it as far from nowhere as you can get. It was the first area I have been where my phone had no signal, my phones GPS lost it's bearing. I followed the brick road out of Kansas to the edge of Oz, er Elgin down the swirling and winding roads to the Nearest town directly south where I would not be mistaken for a dear in the morning for the season opener. When I made my way to an area where I had coverage. I had the GPS lead me to the nearest Walmart but it Led me to Pawhuska which has no Walmart. It led me to an abandoned storefront on Pawhuska's Main Street. With the sun setting I made my way to the fire station and let them know what I was doing. And after cooking some chicken soup for the evening meal( I volunteered since they hadn't decided what to make) have the World inflated across from the Pawtuska Community Center in Oklahoma. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Or Tulsa, here we come.
Walk to prevent and control Diabetes.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

you don't wanna' know

Husband and wife both diabetic.
Asked me to wait in the yard, he had something to do and would be back in a half an hour.
When he returned he gave me a bag with chunks of ham and a german chocolate roll, just a slice..
Nice got a frozen beef liver that he is now sleeping by two feet from his head. I believe he'll leave it lay when we walk away from this prairie field to continue from Tecumseh to Pawnee City.

Sitting on a log...

Far from my destination we stop. As Nice (the dog) curls in the rising sunlight, I atop a log in the ditch by the road. I know darkness will fall before I arrive this evening. Taking in some quiet time with the World chugging by.
Diabetes is a problem that my walking cannot cure. Many can take it upon themselves to keep it away, others must or suffer. It can come upon anyone for a myriad of reasons, stress, diet, inactivity. This log is relaxing, today's walk keeps me moving and I can't eat while my hands are full of dog and the world. I was just invited to stop up the road for a meal. What will it be I wonder for the guy walking for diabetes?

World Diabetes Awareness Day

Yep, it was today. This is Awareness Month also. I heard on he NPR that in the U.S. ten percent of the population will soon be diabetic. Sit back, relax, it's only ten percent.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Before I left Syracuse and walked the grass shoulders of US-50 to Cook Nebraska I sat in the dining section in the Nutcracker gas/food stop. There a local farmer asked me if I'd seen the guy rolling that big earth ball down the highway. After I told him it was me and my purpose of diabetes awareness and more to get everyone walking to control the disease better or to prevent it. This man then told me he was diabetic, was taking a pill for it and then he told me some think he is crazy when he tells them he can check his blood sugar in the morning and it will be high, "say 200", then he will walk the pasture outside his home, a half mile out and a half mile back, then check his blood sugar and it will be normal. He is not able to rid himself of the pills altogether but he agreed and reinforced what I am trying to get through to people, activity helps dramatically on a daily basis.
He was the first person I talked to yesterday and was diabetic. A man in control.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


We made it to the edge of town at Nutcracker's after dark. A nice man who I met late in the day got me back to Weeping Water to the van. I was stiff and my back was tight as a drum today but when you are running narrow bridges it doesn't matter how sore you are, you run! I'll see how I feel in the morning and make a plan for tomorrow.

A dog lovers note: if you live on a busy highway and have a dog, a fence or leash will keep it from getting killed!


From the park where I spent the night in Weeping Water. I have walked south and am heading for Syracuse. At this point I am eleven miles out and the wind is against me, my back still aches. It will be dark by the time I get there.
Up against it, pushing on...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Back 'n Home 'n Louisville

It took me most of the day to get to the river and over the bridge was Louisville. I'd spent moments of the day longingly contemplating home. It has been a season and more from the day I left Louisville. Being at home with myself has helped make each day rich, pleasant and fulfilling where ever that day would find me. Be it in a town of eleven or a city sprawling with hundreds of thousands. Days where I share the road with dozens all day or every minute didn't matter, I was at home. After traveling all day I couldn't muster up the energy to cross that river. Louisville would not be like the home I remembered. It would be like so many other places, a Main street with a museum, a Bank Building dominating the landscape, a store that recently caught fire possibly but it would be welcoming, interesting and rich with history and a pride in it by those who live there. The Louisville I know is seven hundred miles from the louisville on the far side of the river Platte, not the Ohio. I stayed the night at Heron Bay, a restaurant next to the river with a pretty view and sweet owners. I awoke in the morning, was putting clothes on Nice (the dog). As I was bending over I coughed and sent a pang of pain across my lower back. All day as I walked through louisville and beyond it tightened and hurt more an more. This morning I feel a little better and will travel very lite. No patch kit or heavy backpack. I have made my way to Manley and stayed at The Hideaway. If all goes well, and I feel manly I will walk the back roads to Weeping Water first. There I will see how the back feels and stay there or go on into Avoka. I need to begin late and let the sun dry the paint on the World, it got dark too soon, it is still damp and frosty this morning. Thanks to the people of Manley , Heron Bay, Louisville and The Hide Away for helping me feel at home. Again, it was good to be in Louisville even if it was not the home I know.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Not an exact science.

As I have said since the beginning of July I am walking to snowfall. I'll take a flurry or a storm. Meteorologists predicted one to three inches last night, they were a little off of their game and it just drizzled for a few minutes. It had rained all the previous nighrt so I had the World safe in the van in a large crumpled mass. They said it would clear out for the day and the snow would come after dark. I thought I was going home for a bit, I was off my game. I did play the tourist for a few hours and drive all around the Omaha area. I saw the river front, the mutual of omaha headquarters, a few original brick streets and the Omaha Rose theater before I drove back to the ADA office I had walked to the day before. This morning I looked out my window and was met with a white sight, the moon... I inflated the World, loaded my supplies, fed the dog, dressed the dog and have walked a few miles to US-50 and I-80 where I am waiting for the sun to rise a little more before running the overpass and continue south toward the Kansas border. When I arrive at the border I get a free pass through Kansas because I have walked there before. Clear skies predicted, they got that correct.
I'm glad it didn't snow. But I do miss some faces of home.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Omaha Rose...

How poetic that I should smell a rose, so sweet on this sunny late autumn morning along the grand interlink; the main 'drag of Omaha where express and highway funnel together. The vast concrete lanes and metal structured bridge ways twisting together like an octopus stretching as far as the eye can see blanketing the valley and hill beyond. Not since the Twin Cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis had I experienced the thrill of that no-man's land where it's legal to walk, though few do. Most have enough sense to drive over the interstate junction, I had no choice in order to get to the Omaha ADA office. Leaving the huge mall parking lot where I found myself the night before I meandered up the grass approach and across a bridge that led quickly to a four lane "Y". One led to the expressway and the other to the last quarter of a mile before Dodge street becomes restricted to pedestrian traffic. It's all about being very patient and crossing safely during a break in the flow of cars. I have all the time in the world. There a man and woman stopped and got out to talk. He was a big bear of a man, like what I imagine the ghost of Christmas present would look like , without a beard; "Come close and know me better man!.". His wife ,Mrs. Kringle disguised as an Omaha grandmother. They were joyful and happy to love on Nice(the dog) as I answered their questions. He was very jolly in his thanks for my walking, as he was diabetic himself. I told him of the woman who lost some weight, began a walking regimen after three days she lost the numbness in her feet , how happy she was that she had taken charge, reversed the trend downward by her own hard work. He got that look that a ghost of christmas would have experiencing a fresh new and juicy fruit. His wife jabbed at his belly from six feet away and gave him that look that said a thousand encouraging words. He felt the jab and heard her words. We all chuckled as he swallowed the tasty thought. But we were in the emergency lane of the major thoroughfare so naturally someone called the police. Later I heard the radio station that interviewed me days before who informed listeners of my purpose. Soon after the merry couple left, the Omaha officer came. We discussed the situation and after getting my information he helped with an escort to the safe frontage road. There I passed a line of rose bushes still in bloom. As I always do, I stopped to smell the roses...
Usually in large metropolis areas I spend the day walking without being stopped, in big cities I disappear in the busy hustle and bustle of city life. Not in Omaha. My time in Omaha was much like all the miles since I passed over the Missouri River from Yankton into Nebraska, welcoming and warm. Unlike many large cities, Omaha rose...

Sunday walk to Omaha

I spent the windy Saturday in Bennington. All the advice I received from the folks there had me walking East to the river then follow the river to and through downtown Omaha. None mentioned the wide four lane that cut off ten miles and allowed me to get into the city. They, I think, were trying to keep me from what they believed to be the bad side of Omaha. All the big cities I have passed through have far more sketchy areas than the outskirts of Omaha that I walked in yesterday. And if you think of the communities who suffer most from diabetes they don't live by the airport or along the river road. The most enthusiastic people to stop and talk to me were the same demographic that the old men in Bennington led me away from.
This Monday morning I will meander to the American Diabetes Association office.
Have a great day! Walk, be healthy.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Officer's Offer

I hadn't rolled more than an eighth of a mile from where I began when the county sheriff stopped. His offer was one I could not refuse, I could not walk on his highway in the high winds today. Then he asked me what I was doing and where I had come from. His attitude softened but his offer stood firm. So I walked back up the hill and asked permission of the Cubby's/Godfather's Pizza to park in back and spend the day. Now as the sun has set after a day where I applied a few patches and paint to the World, had a nap, listened to Prairie Home Companion on the radio I am sitting down to the Godfather's signature "Humble Pie". I thought it appropriate...Tomorrow is another day.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Puppy Love and the Chicken Man

Dogs are like elephants, they never forget. Nice (th dog) has a special place in his heart for a certain girl he met along the beach in Florida. She gave him a ride in her big white pickup while I followed in the van. Ever since that day he has been searching for his puppy love. Today was no different. A white farm truck slowed and pulled into the drive we had just passed. It was the same truck of his long lost love. Same year,same sound, and a blonde driver. He sat down and. Wouldn't move until the truck disappeared into the barn at the far side of the property.
We began the day in Arlington just before it was light. We ended the walk against the wind thirteen hours later, eighteen miles I think. Just as we rolled to the Cubby's at the edge of Bennington I was approached by a man who was a volunteer fireman/farmer/Dane rescuer, he was interested to know our story and as a first-responder said he was always going on calls for people in diabetic distress. He happened to be there with his big white truck to receive delivery of some chickens and after checking with his wife they moved the boxes of live birds to the front seat and gave us a ride to get the van back in Arlington. Nice (the dog) was most interested in the nervously clucking boxes for the entire ride much as he is when any cattle truck filled with livestock rolls by or happens to pull into a truck stop when we are close by. Unlike when we pass cattle in the field which he would like to get to, when they are packed into transport trailers he can smell the fear and his natural instincts kick in. Pigs are the worst, they are in his blood; with hogs he wants to work. We will see if his preoccupation with white pickup trucks changes from puppy love to...animal desire.
A fine ending to a perfect day. Keep walking!


This would be the perfect time for a nap with the sun shining, a cool breeze, tall grass to lay on after a good snack. But this will not be, I have nine or ten miles to go today. Maybe I'll hit a triple play. All I need is a newspaper reporter to stop. I've been caLled by a radio show and been interviewed by an Omaha TV news this morning. Even if that doesn't happen todayt will still be perfect. What could be better than a stroll with the dog down a country road?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Another Arlington

A short walk East to Arlington from Fremont will be overshadowed by a long walk tomorrow. Cold in the morning and a warm day in the fifties should make for good walking. An early bedtime will help to get me going for the coming day.
See you on the road!

Knock the Dust

A day of rain was welcome to both the dog an me. There was snow in Omaha, not a flake here in Fremont's Wallyworld parking lot. I took the opportunity to leisurely go to the 'laundry then watch the rain for snow until being lulled by the drum of the rain and the rocking of the wind against the van with me bundled on fresh warm bedding. Personal phone calls later roused, uplifted and disturbed me, depending on which of the four calls I received. 'Nuff said. My walk from Hooper went well, the day was cloudless and the hard breeze allowed a good edge where I was the plowman leading the World down thr long white line with just enough turbulence to work my Thu, Nov 3, 2011 joits.............that date just appeared as I pecked "old"... Today is the beginning of the fifth month of my journey. The rain-day washed the grit of harvest from three states away from the van. Though I took two days for weather, one was wind and I was unused to the fierce winds of the North Dakota Plains, One was an needed blustering day where I could have walked but didn't for which I felt guilty because I could have walked. Yesterday the break for walking was guiltless... When I walked last year it was four months to the day from when I left my front porch, walked in or across ten states and Washington D.C.. On this walk I have walked more days, on this leg I have not kept account of the miles and don't care. The miles average ten per productive day. I said from the start I am walking from "Sheboygan until Snowfall". There is someone I need to meet yet... Because of the rain and possible snow I deflated the world and placed it in the van when it was still dry. With the Nebraska sky blue from horizon to horizon I will now revive the World, repair the damage of being manhandled as best I can and walk to the next town...
I believe that what I am doing does some good. Even if it just brinbgs a smile to your otherwise uninteresting day as you drive past and. Never tell anyone you know what you think you saw. In Fremont of all places...
Walk, knock the dust off.

midnight note:

Irritated I write... If you find me interesting don't wake me up in the middle of the night because you want to talk. In the dream I was just roused from I was about to take a warm bath. I know it was warm, I put my hand in it right before the phone call at midnight. If it's important, you are excused.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

As if it were the last...

Before the sun peeked over the valley floor I was packed and ready to walk to Fremont. With the enthusiasm of a school child after a summer away I ventured out of Hooper

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Uphill and against the wind.

Sometimes when dealing with family members who are stubborn it may feel that the way is steep and turbulent. As I was rolling against a stiff wind on an uphill incline heading to Hooper two men in a work truck stopped and after talking for a few minutes one told me of his father who ate poorly, continued to gain weight, lied to his family about staying active to control his diabetes. The young man was frustrated, said he and other family members talked to him constantly to encourage him to take it seriously to no avail. I said to him that sometimes a person can hear something a thousand different ways until one gets through, to keep trying.
I continued up the hill as the wind blew...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday stroll to the Scribner Skyscrapers

Sometime during the days walk I must have forgotten about the count because I traveled the thirteen miles with the wind behind me at a quick pace (for a guy, a dog, and the World spinning along the roadside) because I was able to settle in amongst the Scribner skyline well before dark in stark contrast to the eight mile dawn to past dark from Beemer to West Point. With the help of the guilt ridden "Big Black Truck" who had left his phone at home on Saturday I had a ride waiting for me when I stopped at grain elevator central in Scribner. I am well rested this morning after a night of dreams that had me visiting dozens of friends in my hometown. Perhaps it was the constant drown of the grain elevators that reminded me of the noise of the city that helped me have such good sleep. Perhaps I was exhausted. Today I hear I have less than ten miles to walk to the nearest town. With a good wind it could be easy or at least go fast. It is up to the wind to decide.
It is officially Halloween. I should have brought my gargoyle wings when I left Louisville four months ago. A guy rolling the World along the Nebraska easements will have to be frightening enough. Boo!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


The sun rises later each day, the days are getting shorter and these blankets are toasty warm. I should get up and continue. After all, a body in motion stays in motion and the World stops for no man, or dog. Unless you get up on your own to work those old bones it just gets later.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mule Variations, and Angels on Halloween.

A day that could have been a breeze had the wind been in the direction where I was the plowman was another that had me as the mule. At times I had to work my furrow along the ditch line. I didn't mind it, I take what comes my way. The first half of the day was filled with conversations and phone calls then the wind picked up and I sat by the side of the road to write the gibberish of the previous post and had visits from many more as I sat there. When we made our way to town we were walking by the motel and were invited for a cookout by some traveling construction workers who had their gas grill filling the parking lot with the aroma of meat. Nice (the dog) was soon so full he could eat no more. It had become dark before I ventured to the south end of West Point. Just as we reached a shopping center that has a bar I was about to go inside to ask if I could stay in the parking lot when a good person with her daughter and friend suggested I go just a few steps more to the discount store parking lot and stay there. She went ahead and asked if I could stay there and, thankfully, gave us a ride back to Beemer. It never ceases to amaze me how at the end of the day when I have no ride or a place to stay that a car full of road angels appears. I got back with van and had the lights of the parking lot to do some touch up and am now settling in for the night as the bar in the distance is filling with Halloween party zombies. Again, if not for the angels...

Clearing the Table; it takes a Village.

Beaten a bit when I arrived in Beemer and was warmed by an offer of a room at the Tradewinds Inn at the corner where I had been told to turn, walk a mile up a hill and then some. The people at the local bank had made the arrangements and sent a messenger to let me know. And to think it was just after I'd wrote about feeling like a whinning child... The folks of the Village of Beemer pulled me from my silly mood getting me back on track. After a good 'supper and a seat at "the roundtable" in the Haybarn where all the locals 'scuttlebutt the weeks events. By the time I settled in for night where every time I 'woke for a moment I would flick the television on and the off because I could. Sleeping without a blanket or furry cap to keep warm. Though I did go to the van twice to make sure Nice (the dog) was covered I cleared my mind of the aches and complaints of the long walk from Laurel to Wayne then Wisner. Today I rose and found the old men at the 'table in the Beemer Cafe' telling them all my truths sounded like a string of lies at their "liars table"; walking from Lake Michigan to Omaha Via Fargo just didn't fly. I was leaving out the charity ball for diabetes and changed the subject to my lost fingertip by my dog. Another falsehood, surely. These men who believed at first I was a hunter there for the season opener couldn't make heads or tails, is he for real or pulling our legs when I told them I was no marksman. Once I had cleared the table it was down to me and one other. What would you say the odds are that he was diabetic (or that there would be one at the table the night before)?
It took a village to uplift me and clearing my mind like a breakfast table of dirty dishes, the chance conversations that prompt diabetics to be more active and Grandma's rolls delivered now in the moment I sit to write this that remind me what wonderful life it is... Love your self, your body; walk it around.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Flatland Mountain

My body is protesting this short walk of seven miles to Beemer from Wisner so I am resting by the side of the roadway for awhile. I can see the water tower in the distance. A man has offered for me to stay at his home but it is a mile and a half off the highway, up a hill and with no direct route back to 271. I will have to see if I am rejuvenated enough to climb that mountain when I get to town. For now I'll just kick my feet like a child, beat my hands on this keyboard and whine...

Waddle to Wisner

Sixteen miles into Wayne and a late evening interview at a local radio station left me tired. When I arose to get ready for my walk out of Wayne to Wisner there was a layer of frost on the world. Against my want to stay under my warm blankets I packed up and made my way to Main street. I was there asked to have breakfast at the bakery with the local "liars club". I was happy to delay my twenty one mile trek to Wisner. By he end of breakfast , and a follow up talk with the newspaper reporter over coffee, I had given my keys to a gentleman who with the help of another member of "the table" shuttled the van to the edge of Wisner at the truck stop. Twelve hours later I arrived at the van where I was met by a barrage of questions from the enthusiastic reporter from the paper there. She had been waiting for hours for my arrival and I was hardly able to take off my backpack and breath a sigh of relief for the excited correspondents' queries. Then I was whisked to a late "supper" at a nearby home and was finally settled in for sleep after midnight. When I waddled in the truck stop for coffee and sat in the "liars section" I eavesdropped on the end of the old locals talk about all the different travelers who walk, ride and canoe through and near the town. They concluded that some just see a mountain and must climb it. Then joked that the swimming pool was the highest elevation in the area. I made it through my coffee without being discovered thanks to my new Nebraska Northeastern Railway cap. And now am feeling spry enough to make a short trek of seven or so miles to my next stop.
As with everyday I met more diabetics and relatives of same all day as I waddled to Wisner. Maybe one day I can walk, talk to twenty people, or even five on a gravel county road and not speak to a diabetic. Until then I'll waddle on...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Walking the Tightwire

You best stay here in the moment
Take time to see the distant beauty
Yet keep the line in mind as the wind sways your path
And balance...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I made it the sixteen miles into Wayne but let Nice (the dog) get a mutiny ride for the last mile or so from the good woman who later rode me back to Laurel to get the van. Nothing but good things to say about the folks I met today. But I am tired and if I have to walk all the way to Wisner I will need my sleep as well as all the daylight.
Goodnight Nebraska!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Resting in Laurel

I could have challenged myself and pushed over twenty miles today, been worn out for another twenty miles and more tomorrow or have a short day today, get a little rest and walk only sixteen into Wayne on Wednesday. That is what I did. That is what I am doing. I'll walk myself silly the next day but for today I am resting on my laurels...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Put out

A quiet relaxing day along the rolling hills here in Nebraska. I stopped to have a meal down home. The Down Home bar and grill. I was served the "special" and not a moment too soon because they were about to lock the doors as they do each monday afternoon. When a small group showed up for food they were turned away. The proprietor was all smiles only as I was heading for the door. They'd have no distraction from the television, an episode of "Little House on the Prairie".

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Take it down a notch.

Alright, so I got a little warm and fuzzy with the last post. Blame it on the harvest air. It rained yesterday and some were making use of their manure spreaders. I might have piled a little layer over the field myself in my own way. I have to say today was not so different. I made my way to Coleridge, met the family of the couple who helped me get the van after a good evening meal (they call it supper 'round here) and I am fairly sure I won't be stranded out in the cold as long as I do my part and walk for the next few days.
I truly am thankful for the kindness. No high falootin' string of words, just thanks.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Over the Bluffs

The frosty beginning that greeted me when I awoke to my first day in Nebraska was in no way an indicator of what the day would bring. I hadn't made my way past the first crossroad south before being welcomed by several of the born-and-bread Nebraskans whose warmth and hospitality rivals any I have been given anywhere. Even the breeze helped to push me up the rim of the plain into the rolling terrains. All day I met people who grew up with those I'd met earlier. And those who were passing thru filled the pallet with colors of kindness from the gulf coast to the african continent. If first impressions make the meal, my visit to Nebraska was glazed with brown sugar right out of the oven. It was past dark when I finally rolled from the valley floor into Fordyce. Not because of difficulty but from all the conversations and my long pauses to take in the views of the day; heartwarming.
The second day was no different as the people were all fun to talk to and friendly. The wind worked my body over a bit and the roads to Hartington had their challenges but gravel road, steep banks on narrow highways and a head wind didn't damper the 'Husker spirit. I was even helped by a half dozen young teens whose parents let them push the World up the last uphill mile outside of town. I got a patch for my collection from "Big Kenny" and a meal when I got to town. I had a nice conversation as I retrieved the van and nap after I returned that served to "prime the pump" for a good night's sleep.
On both days I met many effected by diabetes. Each day I shared my stories with at least one diabetic who said they would begin to walk to get the circulation back to their toes and feet. Everyday I am able to assist someone to push past their excuses, at least say out load they will take a step out is a day I will happily climb any bluff.
I guess that sounds a little corny... I am in Cornhusker country after all.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Goodbye Dakotas

With all the challenges of the wind, the lessons that came along the Dakota roadside, it was the beautiful people just ahead of the scenery I appreciate the most. Now I have crossed the river to Nebraska, the frost is burning off the canvas of the World. The snow could come before I walk through. What personal lessons wil I learn in this part of the heartland?
Walk with those you Love...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Going to the Club in Yankton.

It's not too much of a stretch to say we needed a break from the long wind filled days on the prairie. Since the day we left the head waters of the Mississippi the roads began to flatten. At the rim of the Red River Valley I experienced the opposite shock which "flat-landers" get when enclosed by the hills, hollars' and woods back East; the valley was flat as a plate of glass. Walking in North Dakota was like a slow motion "Tron grid" and it was a welcome change when roads began to have an occasional turn and the scenery had hills and valleys. The South Dakota I walked through did have flat areas, but nothing so level as the north...

I had walked my longest distance in a day and yesterday set out to walk the final few miles to the border of South Dakota and Nebraska, as close to the bridge as I could get and find a place to stop. I planned then to take a day to rest. I was walking down Yankton's Broadwsy-US81-Meridian Highway-Tom Brokaw BLvd. when a man called from across the broad way that is surely unrecognizable to the road Tom Brokaw grew up knowing in his home town. The man called for me to stop, put on a jacket before coming over to talk, so I settled in for a conversation. We talked for awhile and he then invited me over to the club to meet everyone. Not everyone had shown up yet so we had enough time to ride back to get the support van before I was ushered into the back room to see the gang. It was at least twenty minutes before I was able to get a drink for all the explanations and questions. That tall cold drink was welcome when I was finally able to have a moment from the crowd. A long cool drink of water does hit the spot after holding the attention of a roomful of youngsters at The Boys and Girls Club...
I think they learned something more than when to stay out of a dog fight.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I left The Meridian Corner "The middle of nowhere, the center of everything" bundled up with my Carhartts, gloves, a john deere cap I found by the road here in South Dakota (washed) determined to beat the cold I picked up on the side of the road also. The sign said it was 27 miles to Yankton and I knew I'd be able to stop half way there. When I got to the intersection that did have an area to park and nothing else I felt the urge to go on. I had a good wind, it was the warmest part of the day, a few cars stopped at the four-way-stop, honking and giving me encouraging waves so I pressed on knowing only that it was fifteen miles to town. I slowed my pace, lulled myself away to the country radio station music and kicked up some dust BY GOSH! After it was dark I was able to get more road time with the autos not being able to see me and I able to see them. Luckily a nice couple who were talking on their couch decided to go find out if I was safe from the cold, having heard I was on the long stretch to Yankton on the old meridian road. They found me and offered their driveway four miles from town, they ferried me to the van and clocked it at twenty one and a huff' mile'. Not too shabby for a tired dog with a sick road weary guy who's been complaining over his little clod of ailments. This morning I am off to Yankton, then we'll 'take a knee' before we go to Nebraska.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Letting sleeping dogs...

Nice (the dog) has decided it is time for a nap. It's a cloudless breezy day and I have to let the boy have his way.

Monday, October 17, 2011

281st and the center of everything.

Freeman is where I began the day. I must have been exhausted from the walk from Stanley Corner on Sunday. That walk had some challenge early as the "county correction line" jogged West for two miles into the wind then continued South. Several days covering about fourteen miles each wore me down and the strong winds of the plains had one thigh and the opposite knee stinging with the cool weather. Whenever I would stop to talk with families or individuals who visited the foot cramped and I would have to walk it back up to speed. These complaints would greatly lessen as I concentrated in the wind, dog and the World at hand. Getting into Freeman shortly before dark I got permission to park at the dollar store and called the nice woman from Salem who had told me to call when I arrived. She came, dropped me back to the van, brought my dinner and amny other things as souvenirs of South Dakota to add to the box/care package from the night before. I was feelin' the Love. After waking up late from a vivid dream about a dear friend with declining health from back home I dressed warmly for another breezy and cool day, walked away from the dollar store to a lesser wind but still one that worked the same muscles as the walk into Freeman. The late start and deep sleep did some good, as well as the talks I had with townspeople before I left the town limits. From the daughter of a diabetic who knows first hand what ravages the disease can take on a person to the trucker at the convenience store struggling with keeping his diabetes under control. A losing battle for him I am afraid; old habits are hgar to break as he left the store with two liter bottles of diet mountain dew and nothing else.
I had a short distance of nine miles to walk to get to "The Meridian" at 81 and 18 but. I had many stops and conversations along the way. As I approached 281st I had to stop and adjust my sock that was bunched up in my boot causing my toe to have sharp pain. There I decided was a good place to sit and write a post but with a visit from the county police who got a call about me walking in the middle of the road (I wasn't all the way in the center), she didn't care that she had to leave her office. The wife of a farmer who called her to come get a picture, we talked and joked with the deputy who told everyone who stopped she was guarding me for ditch cleaning and that I was on work detail and Nice (the dog) was her K-9 assistant. Somehow I managed to get a coffee delivered to me as I sat there visiting (on the county dime) and the day was worth all the police abuse when she told a man who pulled up what I was really upto and he gave me a thumbs-up telling me his wife was diabetic. I asked if she was still walking, he said yes and I told him to walk with her to help her circulation. At once we could see the love and concern he had for his spouse and the realization he now could do something to help her by walking with her. Then a car with three diabetics rolled up who had just been to the diabetic therapy. They listened and I think they might walk more after our conversation. What a spot to talk about walking to control diabetes, mils from the middle of nowhere.
When I got tothe newly reopened restaurant I was interviewed by the third local paper in two days and even got a lift to get the van from the reporter. I told him stories during the trip and. It seemed he wanted deparatly to turn his hand held recording device back on as I rambled about mountain climbs and other Worldly adventures.
I had a bite to eat at the Meridian and spent some time getting some paint on the World before settling in to write this post. I have been developing a cold all day and I must admit I fell asleep half of the way through this post and awoke usin the Blackberry as a pillow but not so feverish.tghe sand spurs are in full force along the sides of the road and Nice (the dog) was plagued by them all day, hi jersey sweater is covered with them. I'll have to find another way to keep him warm untill we get past this area. Twenty seven miles to the border town of Yankton and a parking area at an intersection a little less than half of the the way there. I hope I don't have to sleep in the cold tomorrow night.
Walk with the ones you love, if you can.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Scavenger's Grip

I've collected a mountain of stuff in my day. This Spring while preparing for this, my fifth walk for diabetes awareness, I gave away most of my mountain. I was walking along the road yesterday and found a pair of Vice Grips and could not resist. Clamping them to my belt I told myself I would give them away. I have a box back in Kentucky filled with pliars of all types and have several of these specialized Vice Grip tools. I didn't need them, didn't need to carry them back to my old Kentucky Home far away. The next person to stop and talk offered to help me at the end of the day to get me to my van. As she was about to pull away I gave her the tool (my pack-rat voice struggled with the act). She said her boys could use them. I felt good that I could share my burden as a gift. For me giving has been much more fulfilling than any pile of possession I have guarded from loss in my life.
Time to walk. Have a great day!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Opening up and settling down.

All day Friday I was the anchor to the World. Coaxing it to stay on the road with the winds high from the side. I was leaning all day on the bad foot, today the knees and feet are sore. Last night I was on the side of the highway waiting for darkness to fall so I could set up my tent and get some rest when a farmer working a nearby field came and offered to shuttle me the last few miles to Salem and then take me to get the van back at Jake's corner. I know some may think I cheated. I say "Tell my aching bones they're slackers." This morning I awoke behind the truck stop/restaurant where everyone comes for breakfast. When I limped in the men at the "liars table" told me if I was limping that bad on the opening day of pheasant season I was in trouble. Once I get walking the limp subsides. The population of the state increases twenty percent today. Half the folks in the store were dressed in all kinds of orange clad brand new hunters garb with that "I wanna' kill something!" look written all over. When I was on the road yesterday I could tell the ones who were speeding to their destinations with the same look daring me to slip across the white line so they could get their first kill. A Hutterite farmer and his wife stopped and gave me a watermelon, a small one that weighed only fifteen pounds. I sat in the ditch and ate it down to about five pounds and put the rest in a bag then loaded it in my pack. Then every few minutes I'd have to stop to expel the water from the melon. I do love that melon! This morning I have touched up some spots with paint and while it dries I am watching the parade of hunters waiting and preparing for the noon hour when the season is official; chafing at the bit. Twelve miles to the next corner where I am told a closed up store used to be and cars can park. I will carry the tent in case I need it. It is getting cold so I will have to wear more gear, more weight, walk slower.
I am not too enthusiastic today. Oh well, at least I woke up in a goo place thanks to the farmer-angel.
Happy hunting!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The "Jake" break

Again, I remember writing something before I fell away to sleep but am not quite sure what... This morning I am turning south again after a 14 mile run west (into the wind). Today perhaps I will have another angle on the breeze. At Jakes corner truck stop I am washing a load of socks and things before the long haul to Salem. That will take longer than a day so a short break for clean smelling laundry will be worth it.
Even on these sparse South Dakota roads I meet too many who are diabetic, young and old. If I meet diabetics in what they call "the middle of nowhere" the need for action, I think, is World wide.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Acceptance or Heaven in a Ditch

From weeks of walking with the winds in my face as I walked south I thought I might have some relief from the head wind when I turned West for the day to follow the route of 81. The wind had another plan, to take me to school. The wind shifted almost directly from the West only becoming stronger as the morning progressed. I had choice of being overwhelmed by being driven off the wide gravel shoulder to the grass easement or to enjoy the scenery as I zigged and zagged using both hands to keep the World rotating and away from the barbed wire and electrified fences. Somewhere on the joy of the waltz with my dance partner, the wind I awoke . The tree lines along some fields and surrounding farmhouses calmed the force so I could roll by the road. Then the ditch was my playground, my heaven. That's where it showed itself for a moment, a shadow, a wave in the blades of grass, the sway over the line of evergreen, a hearts beat in the right place. The moment lingered and warmed the day.

A Bucket and a Bed

Out of Arlington it was much the same as it had been since I turned south from Sissiton, walking toward the wind. Surrendering to the day I decided to see if I could go the day without raising my voice to the dog when he would get in the way, wrap the lease around my legs, pull me in the grass while playing tug-o-war as I walked. Only three times did I say anything to him and it seemed he was more mindful of me all day. I was much more calm as a result. It's not such a stress filled life we lead. Wind, rain, speeding cars, trucks, farm implements speeding by and the occasional curious conversation. An interesting act unique to South Dakota has been that some pull off into the wide ditch to talk. Very safe.
At the end of the day I was far from Madison when I saw an empty bucket that had blown from a truck so I took a few minutes to have a bucket break. Nice (the dog) settled into a nap and I ate an orange and watched the farmer till the field behind me. We waved to each other as he passed. The sun was sinking quickly so I loaded up and got back to the edge of the road just as a county policeman drove up. He was responding to a report of a strangely dressed man with a ball by the road. The officer observed my dress was not far afield nor was there any mention of the dog. When I told him I'd bee finding a stand of trees to sleep by he pointed out the next farm had a house fire and was vacant; that I could rest there without a problem. At the property the main house was a scorched pile of rubble but the original settlement house was inhabited by skunks and very disheveled from local party kids so I pitched our tent in the old roundabout. The mother skunk protested as the sun went down but Nice attached to a six foot eyeball that he dragged along when he lunged at it established a boundary for the night. Of coarse, the wind became calm and all night only once did the breeze move the walls of the tent. The morning started early and we were on the road at five AM. I was sore and fatigued from the days of facing the wind so even with a light breeze I labored to get to Madison. As I made my way to town a mother,daughter and grandson stopped. when they asked where I had stayed it turned out that they owned the property and had no problem with my visit. They seemed more concerned with the skunks. An officer from Madison came later who has a complaint of a man, dog, bike and a ball in the road. She was surprised I had no bike and that the ball was so big. She sent me on my way and when I was at the edge of Madison another officer stopped for curiosity; he had not been told by the other officer. This is usually the case. As I got to town at the intersection where 81 turns west for ten miles a man who had seen me just before dark the night before stopped and talked. A member of the church, he soon came back and offered a room at the motel. I accepted gratefully and when my road angel shuttled me back to Arlington and I returned with the van I spent the rest of the day doing a major repatch on the World. days of grinding the wet canvas had come with a cost.
I just checked to see how the repaint of the repair is doing and have found the cold night did not let the paint dry so a late start is in order. I could spend a full day repairing the World but I think I can get away with a bit of neglect. Everyone else does... I have to be on the road for a tv news reporter who is to meet us on the road this morning but I can't rush drying paint.
I had no signal on the phone. I heard blackberry is having network difficulties. I used a laptop here at the motel. Much faster writing when i have more fingers to misspell with.
Love yourself and walk.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I run E

I know I have been saying a lot about the wind and after walking all day against a strong wind I have a place where I can spend the night out under the stars in the tent and the wind died down to null. Might keep going into Madison...
On ssecond thought I'll put up the tent and wait out the night. There are lightning stricks in the distance and the clouds are rolling in. A night sleep is a good thing.


More miles than I can force it today. Wind steady and against my World, shoulders and arms. Nice (The dog) playing and enjoying the walk. I relax as he tugs and bounces. Like the wind, resistance makes the way harder. Have my tent,and a calm surrender. Go with the flow even as it pushes back. I am better off staying calm.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Arlington at last

I've had a day that started wet and then became windy and against me from the south where I got to Lake Poinset (spelling?), and stayed the night. Then after waiting for the morning rain to end I pushed against hard wind. So hard I had to stay in the grass most of the day. Walking well past dark to Arlington. The local newspaper reserved a room at the "Arlington". Thanks for good people.
I am exhausted.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Suits in South Dakota

After walking in a lite rain out of Watertown toward Kones Korner. Walking in the rain is not as hard as against a head wind though it makes the canvas ball very heavy. It also picks up sand, dirt and grass when it is wet. At an intersection I stopped, tied the World to a stop sign, tied Nice (the dog) to it and sat down to change my socks. While in that prone position a van filled with men in grey suits on their way to a wedding. They piled out and walked up in a group which was too much for the dog who like dogs do waned to protect me and the World from being surrounded by to many while I was not able to get up. Luckily he was tied to the sign and the ball so none of the young men had red accents to their matching suits. It was very odd to see anyone in a suit where everyone has been bringing in the harvest so I can't blame the dog for doing his job.
More rain on Sunday and the south wind is forcasr to return. I hope it's not too strong.
Enjoy walking.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Just between two cowboys.

After stitchin' a length a' Velcro on my saddle bag (back pack) an' watchin' the clouds roll by al afternoon the wind died down enough to hightail' it to the south side a' town. Just in time to see a friend I met back at the rez'. Timing wuz' good an' when I'd sauntered through Watertown from the "Cowboy" to the other "Cowboy" Fillin' station I tied the World off on the Sinclair Dinosaur and hopped a ride on a carriage back up north. Got back just b'for sunset. As a bonus a pretty little 'phillie came up with some treats fer' Nice (the dog) and a hug fer' your's truly.
Somebody pinch me, I thought I was dreamin'.

Love yourself, go for a walk Pilgrim.

Just because...

When I was pushing against the strong wind yesterday a mini van stopped and the man and woman inside motioned for me to come over to them. It was all I could do to get the World up to the edge of the road in the hard winds and talk to them. They both were very large and the man said he was going in for surgery to have his toenail removed to prevent possible infection due to diabetes. His wife gave Nice (the dog) a large piece of deep fried chicken tender. They told me they had read of my walk in the local paper and thanked me for it. I tried to encourage them to take it on themselves to walk citing a woman I recently met who was diabetic, had lost some weight and after just a few days of simply walking could feel her feet again. It seemed to me by the blank stares I got in response these two were not going to jump out and walk with me, or with one another. If I could impart on them how proud that woman was for beginning to turn her diabetes around with diet and exercise maybe they would take a few steps, just because.

Bittersweet advisory

For days before I pushed to the Bittersweet Lodge the winds had been picking up against me. There I had a shower and in the morning I had a nice conversation over a hearty breakfast. After preparing my things and checking the World for any needed maintenance I rolled out to the road where I was met by a stiff breeze. Then I pushed further and past the tree line to be crushed by the South wind. It only became stronger as the morning worn on. It blew so hard I was forced into the grass and the edge of the occasional newly harvested fields. In some stretches the tall grass would grab my feet and the wind blowing the World against me was the only reason I would not be face down with Nice (the dog) sniffing my ear. The backpack weighed heavy as the days against the wind had me using both arms to keep the World moving south. When I had to get back on the road to pass a creek or drain culvert I would attach the leash to the ball and struggle for every step forward. The high grass giving resistance and being able to use both arms I made my way many miles but as the sun sunk low I was miles from "Raw-ville" where a man stopped with an offer of a ride...I took it. Letting out some air so we could strap the World down in the bed of his truck he dropped us at the restaurant/bar. I spent the evening there and against the offers to take the day at a mans home close by I stripped down the weight I usually carry and decided to push on, still against the wind, into Watertown. Even stronger than the day before I only braved the blacktop to pass bridges and stayed in the grass. Toward town the roadside was cut short which made it harder to go forward. Often I would "zig-zag" tacking into the ever increasing gusts until I made it to the edge of the city. Four miles in five hours, the week of hard wind in my face and a wind advisory for the next day I am now sitting in the van with it rocking in the wind as it has all night doing battle with the flies that have sought refuge from the elements. At least after a night's sleep I can swing at them without a sting of pain running up to my shoulder.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I'm going about this wind all wrong. It is a beautiful sunny day in the low eighties in October with a wind too strong to walk up on the roadway. I found I can make some progress in the tall grasses by the fields. Slow going also but in the wide swails I can use both hands to push. Each arm is so tired it needs the help of the other. Heavy winds without a string attached sounds like play. Take as long as I need and enjoy the day. When get tired,I rest. Walk for awhile more, then rest. Like I am taking a day off. It's working for me. One step at a time.

Blue sky

I am laying in the shade of the World at 455AV and 156st and have ten miles to go to the nextplace where I might stop before Watertown. (Cover your ears children) The wind is kicking my butt. Not a cloud in the big blue sky.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Keep it up.

I have pushed into the wind for three and a half days, tomorrow will be more of the same. Diabetics sometimes have days "up against it", so can I.

Love yourself, go for a walk. Even if the winds are against you.

brother bee

Sitting aside the road atop the edge and the honey be walks across my hands and the screen of this blackberry pulling little bits from my finger tips to take back to the colony. I'm honored...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Windy day, done.

I made it to the Coffee Cup truck stop outside Summit after slowly plodding against heavy winds directly in my face all day. Sometimes the World was inclined to lift from the ground which usually means forty mph wind. Patience and being content with a few inch step kept me from hurting myself. At the Summit my friends were there to wisk us back to get the van. I am on Dakotah Souix Nation Lands and have been supported in many ways since I have been here. Several even walked with me from Sissiton to the "Agency". Where I stayed outside the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Health and Fitness Center. Getting the message to Walk and return to healthy lifestyles is very important to us all. That I have walked in twenty eight states and only Natives cared enough to walk as a group with me to get the word rolling is a point not lost to me. A beautiful people we could all learn from.

Southern stroll

I'm beginning the days walk very late. Wind strong from the South. Walking South. Yes, I walked against it yesterday and am worn, torn, tired. Twice as strong as yesterday here on the ridge of the continental divide. We walk slow in the South. A man stopped and when he heard how far I have walked in these winds he said that I must have a lot of patience. Yup',Southern, slow walkin' patience. Pack? High and tight. Boots? Stiff and new. Water? Logged. Dog? By my side. One step at a time.
Y'all have a good 'un. See you by the Summit.

Getting back to basics

It's not that hard to take a step,
Walking a few more won't kill you.
Give yourself some time to breath in the fresh air,
Find a friend, hold their hand, walk with them,
Show them you care.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Not all fun and games...

When I had one foot in North Dakota and the other in South Dakota I was feeling pretty good, a bit full of myself for stepping foot in twenty eight of these United States with the World and Nice (the dog). A woman in a car stopped to ask me what I was doing. She thanked me for the effort and told me her husband was diabetic, took our picture and drove away. I had only one foot in South Dakota and was reminded I'm not on a pleasure cruise, this is no vacation, I have work to do...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

On dry land.

I was glad I walked to the Hammer Corner, was able to have my back and shoulder to the North West winds and hold on as the World was driven South with ever increasing force as the day worn on. If we had stopped at New Effington the day would have been spent watching the leaves blow from their limbs. In the last miles the only way I could keep forward progress was by using the tall grasses to slow the spin. Keeping the World on the blacktop it would spin in front uncontrollably. I was hardly touching canvas most of the day, working muscles I rarely use leaning into the gusts as the ball was pushed thru knee high grass. At forty five mph the ball would skirt atop the grass nearly pulling me, pack and all,into the ditch. At the end of the day I had averaged the times equal to my best. Even with the strong wind in my favor the World and I can spin only so fast without damage.
Paying attention to the sounds of the gusts rolling over the fields, watching the tall fields ripple and flow toward me filled me with appreciation for the beauty of the prairies. Looking all about at times as I was pulled along I crossed the continental divide of Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. I was sailing in an ocean no one I know has ever experienced. Sailing on dry land. Tree lines surrounding farm houses would chop the waves of air and intersecting roads would spin the World like a top. Far off grain elevators even changed the directions, getting to the top of small rises always dealt a stronger gust. Oh, if only I could describe what a great time I had.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hammer Corner

As I walked closer to the town of Hammer some of the trees I noticed were beginning to turn to their fall color. I was told there was only one family still living there and that it was a ghost town. I met the nephew who asked my mission, he said he would let his relatives know I'd be around. When I was within sight of the intersection a one armed farmer on an ancient tractor rolled by and then began to cut the grass along the roadway on the opposite side of the highway heading to the "Hammer Corner". Then two other vehicles stopped on the road and people got out along with the man on the tractor who had stopped to walk over to me. A traffic jamb on the edge of a ghost town in South Dakota. (who'da thunk?) I had them all laughing when the school bus rolled to a stop and fielded the questions by the school kids. How long had I been walking? Forty eight years. And other questions like how did I loose the top knuckle of my finger? The dog bit it off. I asked the one armed farmer where I could stay that was as close to the corner and he said I could sleep by the line of trees bordering the cemetery and there I would get a brake from the North winds. After satisfying everyones curiosity asking them to all go for a walk I made my way to the graveyard and had a few minutes to relax before I got my ride back to Rosholt fifteen miles back. Since I was in a ghost town why not stay with the Hammer family at their place. Thrier final resting place. Later when I had returned with the van and the sun made the shadows long the pines were dancing with the strong winds and I saw someone walk onto the grounds from between the row of trees I had parked by. The person sort of pulled up as if surprised to see us, then vanished from the corner of my eye as I looked dierectly at him. I had said hello to the generations of Hammer's when I walked up, this one was obviously late for the party. This was not my first stay in a cemetery. Some just can not rest. As the night wore on the van rocked and bumped with the autumnal northerly. The pines danced a happy 'jig all night. When I returned for the van this evening it was surrounded by a deep bed of fresh brown leaves brought in by the 'hammering winds.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

respect the direction

This road goes west for another five miles before it turns south. Tomorrow the wind is said to be very strong so I am" puttin' the hammer down" to Hammer. I hear there is a place where car pool riders leave vehicles. It will get me within walking distance of Sisseton if the wind will let me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rosholt SD

After walking into South Dakota yesterday I stopped and was allowed to stay at the Hutterite Colony (I hope I spelled that correctly). The children there were fun to talk to and the leader was very kind to give me hospitality. Gracious thanks Joe!
Today I walked to Rosholt and spoke to the whole student body where I anwered questions for quite awhile. I then walked to the opposite corner of town and visited the elderly at both the facilities there. I then reurned to the schools parking area where I had spotted the van. I touched up the world with paint and a couple small patches. I would say more of the day but I am drained from talking to so many folks during the afternoon. Many thanks to the townspeople and the school for letting me have a place to rest for the evening. Tomorrow I am planning to get to Effington.
Goodnight South Dakota.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Elmer's Revenge.

In the time between my host dropping me at the van and the time it took me to then drive to town for staples (that's staples, not staples) my host took Nice (the dog) for a walk on his leash with his pugnacious little dog named Elmer following along. He told me he was walking along and Nice (the dog) stopped. By the time he turned to look back Nice had raised his leg and was doing what dogs do, but he was doing on Elmer who was standing underneath... Fast forward to this morning when I had gathered my things and had them on the driveway by the van. When I noticed Elmer raised his leg and had done what dogs do to my backpack. He got his revenge!

Ten Days in North Dakota or Liberty, Terrorists and Bikers...

From the moment I stepped foot over the bridge into North Dakota I had a vision of Liberty like none other in these United States...Fargo's own small scale Statue of liberty. Down the street from the veteran's memorial bridge spanning the Red River a man called me into the hub of activity for all the local geriatric activists... The Mcdonald's. The man bought me a cup of 'jo and told me of the fifty jobs he had in his life. Fourty nine of which he had been fired from. The other he kept for the forty odd years he had been sober. He then asked if I had been out of the U.S.A. and then informed me he could never leave because he was on the government's "no-fly" list because he had been labeled a terrorist for protesting in front of an abortion clinic..."Can't we all just get along?".
Throughout my stay in North Dakota I found the view broad. Not like I had been warned it would be by most Minnesotans. They told me I'd be run down by the people of the plains, that they'd have no time or patience for me. I found it quite the opposite. I had many long by the side of the highway conversations with all types of citizens and even the most hardened farm hands were more than polite as they barreled by with the beet harvest in tow. Bbrruummmping over the rumble strips to give the World it's room on the road. And the winds gave me my only two days of rest on this journey due to weather. A gift of the plains. Once again I saw how you can't judge your neighbors until you walk amongst them.
On my last day I left from the cozy little compound of a family of harley ridin' bikers. Not what you'd expect of a class notorious for loud exhaust and leather chaps. They were warm and filled with spirit... The Holy Spirit, they were members of The Christian Motorcyclists Association.
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed North Dakota despite some of their neighbors' misconceptions.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A gentle nudge from the Four Winds.

When I received an e-mail a week ago from a teacher at The Circle Of Nations School in Wapeton last Friday inviting me to visit with the children (4th thru 8th grade) I replied saying I would probably be too far West when I got that far South but would come if the winds blew me that way. From that day on all my efforts to forge West were met with Mother Natures helping hand sending me toward the school or pinning me down until I was ready to see things her way. The way to the children at Wahpeton. Once I realized that resistance was futile the winds helped me along.
I arose early Friday to the first official chills of Autumn and began walking the last miles into Wahpeton in the dark under a beautiful star filled sky with just enough light from the moon to shade the fields. As the light of day brightened the morning was filled with visits from all types of good people. A woman brought her kids out to the road for a picture, a man brought tea, a teacher from the school came and we confirmed plans when I got to town. Others brought coffee and hot chocolate to keep me warm (and fuzzy) on my stroll to town. When I was speaking to a reporter from the newspaper in town on the phone a stunningly pretty woman stopped at the business I was standing in front of and waded across the clear water of the ditch to thank me for what I am doing, she and her husband were type-1 diabetics and we had a great talk as Nice (the dog) enjoyed her attention; then she hiked up her slacks and sloshed back across the ditch to her car. I hoped to myself that one day researchers can turn the corner for type-1 diabetes. This was one of those days where talking to people was the order of the day and not miles. A great day to begin the Fall season.
I eventually made my way to the Circle of Nations where I spent the rest of the day. We got the World into the gymnasium where I talked and answered questions. The school staff and the children could not have been more kind and warm to us. I am thankful for the opportunity to visit the children of the Circle of Nations and am humbled by the wisdom of the Wind...

Thursday, September 22, 2011


The sunny morning burned the dew from the world while I readied my things for the day. Nice (the dog) wasn't interested at all in getting out of bed, until one of the women came out from the back of the Fort Aber' Saloon. Then he was as enthusiastic as a puppy. We went inside and had breakfast. I had eggs, Nice munched on dog food out of his bucket whenever the ladies came out from their morning chores. It was getting late when I loaded my pack onto my back and walked out of town making time to slowly loosen my stiff old bones while rolling off the road for cars and trucks. The shoulders of 81 are too steep to roll along so would get off and wait until the road was clear. In the distance I could see the Church steeple.
About five miles later I was sitting in the front yard of the old white church. It's side and rear filled with headstones both old and recent. I always pause and take in the cemetery grounds; I have slept in a couple along my journeys; they are cool, even in the heat of summer. The day was clear and I was enjoying the quiet time and the beauty of the fields in harvest time when a man drove in beside us. We talked for a long while, I listened more than I spoke. He had farm and business interests both here and in Africa to help feed people in need. We exchanged stories, shared some positive thoughts about life. He was so impressed with my spirit he offered me work thru the harvest until December, along with lodging and good pay. I then respectfully declined and told him I was walking for diabetes awareness and of my journeys over the last few months. We got along so well I was tempted to accept the offer but instead I took in his visit as a gift; present. He told me of his friend that he had grown up with, of his honesty and goodness. He told me of the wave they shared when passing each other just there at the church a minute before he crashed and died at the bridge down the road. He pointed out his headstone a few yards away. Time passed as we talked, and stood still. We planned to meet again.
I walked on to Dwight and found a spot under a tree in the park that was as large as the town, relaxed and ate a cucumber as I talked to myself about how to get back to the van in 'Aber. Telling myself to be patient I snacked on a handful of sunflower seeds enjoying the quiet time. Just then A woman stopped and got out with her camera. I had watched her drive by along the road but she had missed me; I was hiding in plain sight. Within a few minute she had invited us to stay at her family property on the edge of town and would also ride us to the van. On my way there I was stopped by a couple outside their home and could not resist the offer of a bowl of homemade chicken soup and good conversation. The woman up the road had told me to take my time; that's what I did. It wasn't too long before we had the van safe in Dwight and were sleeping summer away. I awoke early in the morning and was on the road as Autumn began to a clear, crisp, star filled morning. Enjoying the long stretches of quiet time watching the headlights in the distance.
I've spent enough time on this rambling post.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Riding the tide.

After a day of waiting for the winds and rain in Walcott where the weather only got better as the day progressed which was good for my arm but hard on my mind, because I don't like sitting when there are miles to walk, I left this morning to a hard North west wind and cold cloud filled sky. They said it was fifty but the wind made it much cooler. I wore my cap instead of my usual sweat bleached hat so I could keep my ears warm and not have to chase my hat across a beet field. The road to Colfax went so fast I decided to go on to Abercrombie and now I am staying behind the Fort Abercrombie Saloon (great food!) I am tired, sore, and still livin' the dream!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Reading the Signals

When I awoke at three fifteen this morning to a calm and partly clouded sky I had the thought to get up and walk to Colfax. Then my shoulder began to throb and my wrist popped and snapped when I flexed my hand. From the day I rolled over the edge of the Red River Valley whether I was walking West, South, or East the wind has blown in such a way that I have had to push against the world with the same arm, the same hand, the same shoulder. If I had started out in the dark I may have arrived in Colfax and dodged the thirty to fifty mile per hour winds due to blow in from the northwest. I went back to sleep. This morning I got my boots and clothes on and stepped out of the van. Just then it began to rain so I got back in. After awhile I thought I'd give it a try again, then a gust of wind blew the world around to the side of the van. It had been tied to the rear of the van and had not moved all night. I have no illusion that I will make my way down thru the Dakotas without the challenge of wind. If I can keep healthy I'll make it. Conditioning my muscles and letting them rest. Now the mist is rolling in the window while the owl calls from the tree a few feet away. I can take a hint...

Monday, September 19, 2011

To Kindred

After a day of rest due to high winds and an early morning of light rain we started out late from Horace into a ten mile per hour wind. When we turned the corner and headed west for several miles we had an easier time. Then, turning south again, the going slowed. But, we made our way to Kindred just before dark. I slept well and today I am heading to Walcott. My path is both determined by the towns within my range and which direction the winds allow.
Have a great week and find time for a walk.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A day off.

My stubborn ego wants me to push into this wind. No. I just have to be patient, wait for the weather to shift. Then go. Resting my bones, trimming the sails and throwing out the anchor while the wind buffets the van as the World is lashed to the spare tire rack. I will get over a bruised ego faster than a torn shoulder. "Welcome to the wind tunnel."

Friday, September 16, 2011


This morning was chilly with a strong breeze from the southwest. From the Fargo walmart I was starting out toward the west. My little ball/sail with the leash to the lasing can spin along relatively well tacking to the southwest wind. Wanting to go with the flow I passed the road to Horace but was quickly redirected by "the original Don Johnson". The advice I was given last night, to follow the road west and I would get to a town, would have me heading north so I turned around. Funny that my short meeting with mr.j was worth the walk. Then when I had turned toward Horace the now stronger wind was almost directly against my path south. The bottom of the swail along the side of the roadway was the only way to make southern progress. The shoulders have been cut so I was lucky to be able to roll over just six inches of grass. Most of the Minnesota highway was overgrown because of it's government shutdown this summer and the roads there have large shoulders. Each state has it standards of road design, some older roads, some modern designs with future growth built in like this road out of Fargo. The walk along the ditch line was broken up by the intersecting roads, drives & a bridge. Over these it was all pushing against the hard wind. I was less than two miles to Horace, against the wind I would take hours to get to town.
Then a man pulled up and told me that over two hundred school children where waiting for me at the Horace Elementary School I pushed against the wind for awhile but soon the town sent a man with a pickup truck to assist my struggle and shuttled me to the waiting crowd of kids. There I spoke to them for awhile and answered questions just before the school day ended. I would never have gotten there in time. The wind kept blowing all day and since I was worn out from the past days against the wind tunnel the. School parking lot is where I stayed for the day, my shoulder throbbing but my heart full from the happy kids. Thanks for the break Horace.

North Dakota cool.

Our first day in the state was good. The first person I spoke to offered to give me a ride at the end of the day and after walking along another long University street I worked my way to my home away from home, walmart. The newspaper had published a good picture which was shown on a couple of the national news morning shows on Wednesday. The Fargo Tv news had also stopped for an interview early in the week so I had a lot of waving to do at the cars who honked as I strolled along. The wind had shifted and was coming from the south. I had hoped to use the wind to my favor compared to the previous days. No luck in that but I did make the best of the day. It is in the thirties this morning and I am slow in getting prepared today. I am generally working south and west. Where the small towns and gas stations have a big factor in determining my path. The recommendations of the people I meet weighs in also.
I have stopped by a nursing home,a recovery center, a dialysis center and waved to the children at a child care in the past two days. I have received many messages from people who are inspired to activity lately. I am thankful what I am doing is making some think about their health. Until we bring a cure that helps all forms of diabetes we all need to better ourselves by being active and keep our circulation moving. I met a diabetic physician who was walking with his family yesterday, he said his job would be much easier if everyone would just walk.
Maybe I'm onto something...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Facing the Wind

Since walking into Minnesota at the Iowa border in July I was sheltered by the hills and bluffs along the Mississippi for most of the time. It's not that there was no breeze or hard winds but the afternoons of the past three days have been challenging. When I walked across the midwest farm country in southern Indiana, Illinois and Missouri I pushed against the prevailing winds for weeks on end. The breezes off the coastlines from Florida to North Carolina were tough at times, at times brutal. West Virginia was nothing but hill. Most cities and towns have a claim to fame. This morning I will walk into Fargo in the "Flattest place on Earth". Then I will turn south and hope the winds of the past three days will give me a break on the flats. The cool frost this morning has all my hurts and pains standing on the "drive" button. Maybe this starting fluid will help. Coffee, good for what ails ya'.
No inspiring final words.
Goodbye Minnesota.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Smile and wave

In the White Earth Indian Nation the road was narrow and when cars approached I would patiently get off the roadway and stand in the ditch as the vehicles passed. Often whole families would stop and get out to talk or wave. Up on the busy commuter highway ten the trend seems to be the drive by picture and the stop click and drive away without a word as we get close. There are also those who stop in the driving lane so they can get a picture with traffic speeding toward them. Tisk, tisk! I would think their safety would be more important and a snapshot without the glare of a closed car window is not worth a high speed incident. We won't bite, well, I won't. Pull off and say hello or at least Smile and wave.
Love yourself, go for a walk!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hawley wind batman!

I've made it six miles out of LAKE Park and the west wind has decided I should lash of the World to a sign post and take a break. It's a good thing I don't get freaked out by snakes, one just slithered by. I can see the water tower in Hawley and have all day to get the two or three miles into town. Like good concerned citizens I have been reported to the state and county police who just welcomed me to "the wind tunnel" and for those of you who are concerned the World may blow into the road and cause you to wreck I say stay on your side of the line! Have a very nice rest of the day.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The White Earth

On Labor Day I Walked into the Nation. From the Store at Zerkel to the bridge I must have talked to a dozen people. The first was a couple whose daughter was obese and the father was struggling to find a way to get through to his daughter. I hope my encouragement helped them. At the Mississippi river bridge
I was met by two men of the tribe on their way to work. They, and most of the natives told me how prevalent diabetes is among their people. Then I met a member of the Tribal Council, he told me of a program, a way of thinking , Wisdom Steps to prevent and control diabetes with each wise step. Each day I was on reservation lands I was welcomed and helped by the people with warm conversation and healthy snack foods like fruits and nuts. Walking for awareness I am pushing to promote exercise but healthy eating does make a difference. I will take any gift and loosing weight has leveled off because of the Nice people bringing me every type of food you could imagine. I am fluffy and fit! With a good wind and help from members of the council my time in the nation was a pleasant memory I'll hold close. Thank you to the Ojibwa nation.


On this tenth anniversary of the day that has changed our World I troubled whether to walk. Should I have a day in silence and reference for those who were lost. Having a long distance to the next town I opted to leave before the sunrise. As I walked west along a lightly travel road I came to a stand of trees that surrounded a farm home. Clearing the trees the first thing I saw in the yard was a flag, Old Glory flapping in the breeze, and my World stopped turning. A sad feeling came over me as I checked my clock. It was the minute the first tower was struck ten years past. A sad day that has changed our World. I spent most of the day in relative quiet and walking, we must go on.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Cricket King

Here on top of the World
I bask in the late afternoon sun.
Round and round I turn,
Master of all I survey.
Sitting upon this green America.
I am cricket!
King of the World.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gizmo Glitchs

For all I know this phone may give out again soon so I better catch up from my walk out of Itasca's Mississippi Headwaters into the White Earth Indian Nation. The keys are freezing on this device. It has been slow and stalls. The message post is involved in the whole phone-road-trip to Fargo today. It is interesting that I was just checking my posts to see what I wrote and it said the post had no message and after I rewrote "-take two-" then going back to check the original post reappeared. Here is what has happened so far...
The tribe is treating me well. I can see the difference in the land left whole. Here the dragonflies are at ease. Somehow slower, with more spirit.

the message-take two-...

Though she is a thousand away the note said only, "Walk with me.". My sister.
Arm across my shoulder, "walk with me.". My Brother.
Years have passed since she left this World. My Mother.
I walk with her Spirit.
A lifetime spent searching for message. My teacher, the dance,the wind.

The freeze

If anyone is wondering where I have been, I'm on 59. I am south of Mahnomen in the White Earth reservation. The phone had frozen and when I did a soft reboot the flood of facebook requests and other info cooked it. Though I lost all my pictures and had to drive to fargo, for now I am back on the ball. When I return to the far reaches above Detroit Lakes I my have a poor signal. I willk upodate before morning, maybe.
Walk and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Message

Though a thousand miles were between us,
"Walk with me." Was all she wrote, my Sister.
He put his arm across my shoulder,
"Walk with me." Was all he said, my Brother.
With years since she left this World, my Mother,
"Walk with me." I step with her spirit.
A lifetime of searching for message,
"Walk with me.", my teacher, the dance, my Wind.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

All my relations.

Taking a break from the elements of road I stopped just outside Itasca State Park to have bit to eat and a cup of coffee. The lunch crowd was beginning to file in as I ordered. Soon the cafe' of empty tables were occupied and an older gentleman stepped through the door bent from a life of hard work like a boomerang. I wondered if I survived to his age how straight my posture might be. Without any tables open he asked If he could sit with me and we made small talk about the weather and the hunting seasons. It was obvious neither of us cared about hunting but what do you do when having conversation with a stranger in Minnesota when the tables dressed with DNR rulebooks for hunting and fishing alongside the cream and sugar tray. He was in from Arizona and asked me several questions obout how much rain had fallen in recent days. I shaared what I knew as I'd spent most of the previous four days walking in rain and mist, clouds and sun. Having a knowledge of the names I'd walked thru for the fifty or so miles in those days he asked if I was a "local" or there visiting. Up until then I had managed to keep my story out of the discourse but soon the whole room had heard my tale and had heard the list of possible breeds my lovely companion may or may not have mixed in him. He IS a brown dog. I finished my meal and paid the bill quickly and had to pose for only a few photographs before I made my way to the edge of the parking area and the roadway. There I met the hosts and hostesses of the Itasca State Park Camprounds. They were pulling in for lunch but since I had just eaten offered me their hospitality and their knowledge of the park along with a map. Being party planners my day and evening was arranged in a few minutes and my uncertain plan to the headwaters of the Mississippi became almost as clear as the waters at the great rivers' beginning. I made my way into the parks' south entrance, found a large feather, and eventually to the camping area where I met some of the park staff, was shuttled to get my supply van and had a nice dinner of campfire cooked wieners and fresh corn on the cob while getting to know my hosts and hostess' "with the most-ess'". They had made up fliers and had posted them around the camopground to invite the holiday weekend families to listen to my story after dinner so I spent the evening sharing free-style my tales and the message, Love yourself and those you care for, go for a walk. I then spent the remainder of the night in my hosts' motor home with them and a local family until it was time to get some quiet and sleep in the van parked by the host camper. In the morning I had a much needed shower, took Nice (the dog) for a ' mark every tree ' walk around the campground before having breakfast with the host and hostess "with the most-es". Prepared with a towel, rubber slippers and the company of my host we walked the scenic path to the headwaters. I was more tired than Nice (the dog), he pulled ahead all day which made it a challenge to keep the World at bay. Him pulling, me pushing; I felt like an abstract Dr.Doolittle's Push-me-pull-you chartacter. The holiday weekend brought scores of cyclists to the path and when we arrived at the head of the Mississippi the sunny morning had brought hundreds to experience what I had walked hundreds of miles to experience, walk accross the "big muddy" without a bridge. Though it seemed obvious to me why I was there I still had to field the question of what we were doing. I did my best, with my low energy, to be gracious and make the symbolic crossing. Thankfully, with the help of the campground hosts, Nice and I waded the Mississippi as I rolled the World across a split log that bridged the twelve foot head of the river I had crossed so many times over countless spans
During my travels. We then walked out of the fray to the welcome center for a pleasant lunch, walked out of the park to the north entrance completing my task of the headwaters at Itasca. (I know, groan). Again, assisted by the host and hostess with the most-ess I was able to get the supply van to the store just beyond the park border. Feather in hand, a chapter closed...